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Metropolitan governance in Mexico: institutions and instruments

Ana Díaz Aldret

Metropolization is a global trend that results from a scale adjustment process in the context of globalization. The fragmentation inherent to metropolis always raises problems for intergovernmental coordination. This paper analyzes the existing institutional structures at the macro level in Mexico and from them the type of intergovernmental relations and the capacity for coordinating policies and sharing resources for metropolitan planning and management. The argument is that the unusual magnitude of transformations that Mexican cities have experienced have not been problematized from a metropolitan governance perspective but until very recently. Thus, the reforms undertaken since 1976 have come slowly from deep-rooted thinking logics that allows few spaces for innovation and always insufficiently, especially from the perspective of the instruments to seek a greater and more effective coordination of planning and implementation of metropolitan policies. One conclusion is that although the new General Law on Human Settlements, Urban Planning and Urban Development enacted in November 2016 represents a step forward towards metropolitan integration it will not unleash intergovernmental collaboration on its own. Better designed instruments are to be developed in order to produce the necessary incentives to achieve the agreements that constitute the cement of the collaboration envisioned by the law itself. The article ends with a proposal for a research agenda on these issues.

Key words: Governance; Intergovernmental Relations; Managerial Capacity; Metropolitan Administration; Metropolitan Government; Metropolitan Area; Mexico

 
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